It had been three years to the day since I had last been to the beautifully amazing land of Narnia. Three years since I had seen Aslan, seen the beauty of the Stone Table, the centaurs and the fauns. I dearly miss Mr Tumnus, and all the friends I made while I was there, but who was to believe me about any of it? Other than my siblings, no one else knew about it and no one else would believe me. I learnt that the first time when I talked to my friends about it when I visited them in London, but they all called me crazy and never spoke to me again. When I returned from Narnia the second time, my siblings and I knew best not to tell a single person about it while we were at boarding school. The third time, however, was the most difficult. Edmund and I knew that we would not be returning to Narnia ever again, and Aslan had made that quite clear. I still dream about him to this day.
"Lucy?" A voice called through the closed door.
"It's dinner time, would you like to join the others or stay in your room tonight?"
"I will stay here. No one believes the stories I tell at the dinner table anyway."
"Lucy. We have spoken about you bringing up those fantasies. Leave them alone in your head where they belong."
The head nurse and my supervisor opened the door carefully, and came to place the plate of lasagna down at the table.
"You're dreaming about your fantasies again, aren't you Lucy?"
"They are not fantasies. They are real and true and they happened." I told her stubbornly. "Why won't any of you people believe me?!"
"Lucy," the nurse said with a warning tone in her voice, "keep silent and do not speak of your fantasies to another soul in here. Do I make myself clear?"
"Perfectly." I mumbled, pushing the plate away from me.
The nurse left the room, leaving me to go back to my thoughts. I had only been put in this mental asylum after the third time I returned from Narnia, after I had accidentally brought it up to our aunt at the dinner table, with Eustace and Edmund present. The boys denied any knowledge of Narnia, and so my aunt shouted that I was crazy and carted me off to the hospital. After the first time, it was more difficult. We had spent so long living in Narnia and becoming used to its customs that England no longer attracted me. I would spend days outside, just staring out at fields and reminiscing back to our time in a different world. My mind had grown and changed while my body remained in that of a small child, overshadowed by my three older siblings. My biggest accomplishment of the first time was keeping it to myself, I hardly even discussed the change with my siblings, and I survived with people believing that nothing had changed.
The second time was harder, I was scarred with grief about how much the beautiful land had changed and how forced I was to leave it behind. I spent every night crying over the beauty that I didn't know if I would see again, and my heart ached to return and be Queen Lucy the Valiant once again. I was sent to therapy and put on sleeping meds to help me, but nothing truly did.
The third time of returning landed me in this mental institution, where no amount of therapy or medication could save me from the utter loss I felt at knowing that I would never return to Narnia and see my friends again.
The time that I had spent in Narnia certainly changed me for the better. I certainly cannot say the same for my dear sister Lucy, who was only a small child when we first discovered Narnia. Before I went, I had always felt myself drifting away from my siblings, nothing I did with them felt enjoyable anymore. Peter and Susan always seemed so patronising and "adult" to me, where Lucy just seemed to be too childish. I was the one stuck in the middle. Admittedly, I was selfish and rude and such an awful person to be around, I began to understand why Peter tried to act so mature around me - to change me into a better man. But there was nothing that Peter could do to help that, it was Narnia that helped with that.
When we all returned after the first time round, I felt a change in myself. My siblings and I went out for a walk around the grounds of the house where we were staying, and something felt different. I felt more mature, uplifted and less of the sullen, immature boy that I was before I stepped through the wardrobe. However, nights were never easy for me. I had spent many a night in Narnia, waking up in sweats, after a nightmare about the White Witch, but, in Narnia, Aslan's voice always came to me and calmed me. It was different back in England, when I woke up in sweats, there was no calming voice to reassure me back to sleep. I knew that the witch was dead, but I couldn't help imagining her bursting through the wardrobe and coming after me. Mother remarked a change in me when we returned to her in London, but she just placed it on the evacuation.
The other two times I went to Narnia were a lot easier to return from. Unlike Lucy, I did not come back upset or mentally damaged, I came back a stronger person, who understood the values of life more clearly, the longer I spent in Narnia. Also unlike my sister, I was ready to leave Narnia behind when the time came for us both to leave the third time. I knew that it was hard on Lucy, but there was a certain relief for me. I understood that I had changed and grown, and there was no more that Narnia could offer me.